Andrew Hess – On Self Publishing

AndrewBio: (Appox 100 words.)

Andrew Hess, New York’s King of Cliffhangers, found his love of writing while studying psychology at SUNY New Paltz. His debut book, Chamber of Souls (2011), depicted the life of a broken man wallowing in self pity. Using free verse poetry, he brought his character to life while journeying to find himself.

Hess picked up his first cliffhanger credit in 2013 with The Phoenix Blade Series (winner of Best Series Award in 2014 by Indie Author Books). The Phoenix Blade showcased a group of vigilante 20 year olds hired by the government to rid the country of the men and women who have evaded justice.

Hess continued his route down the path of mystery and suspense with the Detective Ryan Series, the Detective Thornton Series, and #1 Fan, which earned him the moniker King of Cliffhangers

1.What got you into writing? I’ve always had a creative side, but writing has been an on and off again part of my life since I was in 5th grade. It took a backseat through high school and half of my college education before I came up with a random idea for a fictional government conspiracy book. It was only supposed to be a one-time hobby, but it stuck with me and I kept coming up with more ideas.

2.Can you tell us about your latest self published release? Feel free to include the blurb and purchase links. My latest book is also my upcoming release called Frantic. It is the 4th instalment in the Detective Ryan Series. These books provide a unique perspective where you read the story from the detective and from the suspect’s point of view.FranticDespite the odds, Detective Ali Ryan put the man known as the Puppet Master behind bars. Another serial killer investigation has come to an end. It was time to celebrate…it was time for a vacation; that was her plan. However, one phone call changed everything when she learns Valentina Esposito was kidnapped shortly after arriving in New York.

3.What made you self publish and not go down the traditional route? Originally, I wanted to go down the traditional publishing route; mostly because I thought that’s what you had to do to be considered an author. I never knew there was anything called self-publishing until I checked a few sites. I had a book of poetry that was nagging me to put out for the world to read so I decided to give a shot. I was happy with the freedom and control I had from self-publishing and decided to keep writing books based on the random ideas I kept coming up with. At least then, I didn’t have to worry about someone telling me no or scrapping all of my creativity because it’s not the “in” thing to write about.

4.How long does it take you to write a book? It depends on what else is going on in my life. My first novel it took me 8 years before I was comfortable to publish it. The shortest amount of time I’ve written a book was a month. Currently, I average two to three months per book. 

5.How did you know when your manuscript was ready to be published?
My first novel? I was so eager to get it out for people to read and went through about three rounds of rewriting the whole book. I couldn’t wait any longer and needed someone to read it other than me.

6.When it comes to formatting, cover design, uploading of books, do you do it yourself, or hire someone? If you hire someone and wish to promote their services, you may do so.  I do a lot of the work myself, but I also have a lot of help. I do all of the photography for all of my books since 2016. My business partner Stephanie (Trident Book Promotions: helps convert the pictures into teasers, banners, and book covers. I handle all of my formatting, but I receive help with the proofreading and editing from of my friends I met through this industry that are very special to me. 

7.Which websites / programs / apps can you recommend in respect of getting a manuscript published to an eBook and paperback?
I have used KDP, Createspace, and Smashwords.

8.Do you have any tips for a self published author getting their books in stores? Work on your social media following and start out finding small local bookstores in your area to contact about setting up book signings or attending author events. 

9.What are the pro’s and cons of self publishing? The pros: You get a bigger percentage of royalties, you have complete artistic and creative freedom with your story, covers, teasers, and how you present the book to readers.The cons: It’s a lot harder to get into bookstores, and the marketing is all on you. 

10.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I work full time and I am also a husband and father; I didn’t think there was such a thing as spare time any more. But when I do have some, I like to watch movies and I watch entirely too much T.V. I love watching football and baseball, pro wrestling, Law & Order SVU, and reality shows like Big Brother, Dancing with the Stars, The Wall, and Survivor and America’s Got Talent.